- On Tuesday night, the St. Louis Blues finished off the San Jose Sharks, 4 games to 2, to win the NHL’s Western Conference championship. They’ll meet the Boston Bruins, champions of the Eastern Conference, for the most famous trophy in sports, the Stanley Cup. Game 1 from Boston is Memorial Day on NBC.
- The oddsmakers quickly installed the Bruins as favorites (-170) against St. Louis (+150). Punters have liked the Bruins for some time. They’ve been favored to bring home the Stanley Cup for the seventh time since the top seeds in each conference, Tampa Bay and Calgary, were sent home for the summer in round one.
- The Blues are making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 49 years. On Mothers’ Day, 1970, Boston’s Bobby Orr completed a four-game sweep of the three-year old Blues with perhaps the most famous goal— and flight— in NHL history. There’s no love lost between fans in these two cities either. Including when the NBA’s Hawks played in the Gateway to the West, Boston and St. Louis have met for the championship in all four major American sports.
- Since completing a four-game sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes on May 16, the Bruins haven’t had much to do. Thanks to the most bizarre, unpredictable Stanley Cup Playoffs in recent memory, the Bruins semi- and final-round matchups with the eighth-seeded Columbus Blue Jackets, and seventh-seeded Hurricanes, have made for a remarkably smooth path. An inter-squad scrimmage at TD Garden on Thursday will keep the players fresh, and the fans energized.
- If the Blues are a team of destiny, they sure didn’t look like it earlier in the season. On November 20, the team fired head coach Mike Yeo, after starting 7-9-3. By January 3, St. Louis had the worst record in the NHL. The promotion of 25 year-old goaltender Jordan Binnington, and a shutout win two nights later in Philly, turned the season around. Since then, it’s been one Glorious ride.
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